Welcome to South Ayrshire Christmas Toy Bank
WHAT WE DO
Helping our local kids at Christmas.
Founded in 2019, South Ayrshire Christmas Toy Bank provides gift packages to children and young people in South Ayrshire who are experiencing the effects of deprivation at Christmas. Gifts are donated by the community of South Ayrshire and we ensure that these are responsibly distributed.
Since 2019, in only two years of operation so far, the Toy Bank has helped over 4,200 children, young people and families across South Ayrshire. Our work is dedicated to lessening the financial and mental stress experienced by families at Christmas by providing age-appropriate gifts and pyjamas.
We operate a formal referral system and work with charities, schools and local authority services to ensure we are directing our service to those who benefit most. Our referral system also allows us to collect statistics by recording the amount of users who require our assistance.
Get in touch to learn how you can help us to make a difference.
There's no naughty list.
We know that more than 5,000 children across South Ayrshire are experiencing the negative effects of deprivation and low income and that is not their fault. Due to this, parents and carers struggle to buy gifts for their children at Christmas.
We don't want any child to think they didn't get a gift because Santa thought they were naughty.
So we started the Toy Bank to help by bringing together the local community and creating easy ways for people to donate toys and pyjamas and make sure these children wake up to a gift from Santa on Christmas morning.
THE HELP CENTRE
Got a Question? Here’s An Answer!
Find answers to some of the questions you may have regarding South Ayrshire Christmas Toy Bank here. We’ve addressed some of the most common ones below, but if something still isn’t clear feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to assist you in any way that we can.
HOW MANY CHILDREN DO YOU IMPACT WITH YOUR WORK?
In 2019, we helped 1,708 children and in 2020, we helped 2,498. In our short two years of operation, we have helped over 4.200 children and young people in our council area.
DO YOU ACCEPT SECOND HAND GOODS?
No. For many reasons. When we started out, we referred ourselves to Trading Standards and the advice we had is that we cannot appropriately age and quality control items that are not brand new. We also just believe that the dignity of children is upmost and we think they deserve brand new items to get excited about from Santa.
CAN I REFER MYSELF TO YOU FOR SOME GIFTS?
No. But you can approach your service provider or school/nursery and ask them to approach us on your behalf. We do not deal with individual cases and we don't hold personal details of any families or children that we help.
WHY DO YOU USE A REFERRAL SYSTEM?
We use a referral system because the organisations we partner with, who refer children to us, are qualified to make those judgements on who is most suited to benefit from our service. They are face to face with the families who need us and they act as the 'middle man' between us and the families that we help.
This layer of professionalism is invaluable and we have brilliant communication to ensure that we work well together.
ARE THERE ITEMS THAT YOU DON'T ACCEPT?
We ask that people don't give sharp/dangerous items - including razors, nail clippers, scissors.
We ask that items that need batteries are donated with batteries included.
We prefer not to have dangerous toys, such as sharp swords-type items, guns that might hurt or cause damage.
Items with paint, kinetic sand, slime - anything that can stain furniture.
We keep in mind that people might not be able to afford to clean stained carpets, or replace batteries.
SHALL I WRAP THE GIFTS?
We receive beautifully wrapped gifts, and unfortunately we have to open them to check for dangerous items and that the items are new.
Our ethos is also that parents/carers should have that pleasure of wrapping the gifts for their children themselves, so where possible, we provide sellotape and wrapping paper.
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"
Vincent van Gogh
HOW TO HELP
Purchases can be made at any time of year and we will store them to be distributed at Christmas.
This is a great way for people to donate in lieu of birthdays and other celebrations.
Local business partners support us by accepting your donations on our behalf and passing them onto us.
We will next set up our drop off points across South Ayrshire in November 2021.
If your business wishes to take part in 2021, contact us.
Due to the challenges of Covid, we limit the amount of volunteers we have at once.
We get a lot of offers of help and operate a waiting list and if you would like to be added to it, contact us.